Our New Home

I can't believe I actually survived the last 45 days of my life!  It had been 6 and 1/2 years since I last moved and I had completely forgotten what "moving" really means.  Of course, we were trying to get the house in pristine condition so that we could have renters that came in happy and with a stronger desire to leave it the way they found it.  I guess we'll find out in two years (when they move out) if that worked or not.

I discovered that we have WAY to much stuff.  It took two packers TWO days to pack the house and it took 4 grown men 8 hours WITHOUT stopping to load our stuff into a giant moving truck.  The truck driver had to put his Harley Davidson back into his truck and then place a board over it so that he could add the last of our stuff.  I apologized to him that he wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy Memorial Day weekend in the Pikes Peak region on a Harley (I felt really bad and a little guilty).

We stayed in Colorado Springs through Memorial Day weekend and CLEANED.  My mom was in town so we did take some time for one more last visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  I grabbed a big thing of lettuce and we headed off to feed the giraffes.  We left Sam at home to PAINT.  Have I mentioned how exhausted I was at the end of that weekend? 

It was a little hard on the boys to have their last day of school on Friday, say good bye to all their friends and favorite teachers for the last time, and then come home to all their stuff being loaded onto a big moving truck.  We'd talked about it for months and I was proud of how they handled everything.  They really enjoyed "camping" on the floors for a few days. 
On Monday then Ethan got to spend the entire day with his new found friend, Niyah.  They were gone for 7 hours celebrating her birthday.  Her mom kept sending me pictures on the phone of the two of them having fun roller skating, watching a movie, playing at the park, eating lunch...  It was great.  Because on Tuesday the poor kid had A LOT of dental drama!  We stayed through Tuesday because we were planning a visit to the orthodontist to have his braces removed and retainers put in.  We were supposed to have one appointment in the morning and then another in the afternoon.  Instead Mike and Lou (the orthodontists, we are on a first name basis because they are that awesome) didn't feel like it was a good time to take the braces off.  Instead they thought he needed a few teeth pulled on the bottom to give the middle four more room to straighten out.  So we left the orthodontist at 9:30 went over to the Badurek's for a quick dip in the pool and then drove out to Falcon to Dr. Ron's office to get a few teeth pulled and then back into the Springs for Ethan to have his upper gums lasered because they were so swollen.  It was a CRAZY day!  Thankfully, I thought ahead and put the girls in daycare and Channing Badurek was a sweetheart and kept Ryan for me.
We left on Wednesday morning but not until after I had a 7:45 am appointment at Physical Therapy for my shoulder.  Seriously, it was a really crazy 7 days.  I've been going to PT because I have all this pain and limited movement in my shoulder and I didn't think I would be able to do all that was required of me for this move.  It was a good decision on my part but added to the stress during the last 3 weeks in town.  Scott, the PT, did some dry needling on my shoulder and trapezoid muscle and sent me out the door.  It hurt in a really good way! :-)  He was able to get a good release on all that tension.  Then we got on down the road!

Our first stop was at Fort Riley, KS to see Sam's brother who just recently (10 days ago) got stationed there.  He just finished PA school and this is his first rotation.  The boys haven't seen him for at least 4 years and the girls have never met him.  However, you would never have guessed that.  Molly kept telling me for about two weeks after visiting with Ben..."Daddy's brother, my uncle Ben, was soooo nice to me.  I like him!".  Sometimes I could just gobble her up she's so dang cute!

The next stop was just East of Kansas City, MO at a KOA.  I bought the biggest tent they had at Costco because I wanted to take the kids camping while we were travelling.  We wanted to stop in Kansas City to take the boys to the newly opened Legoland Discovery Center (don't waste your time, it was an over glorified Chuck E. Cheese that we waited 90 minutes in line to get inside) so I figured it might be fun to camp.  I had to listen to Sam grumble about it but once the tent was up and the kids were having a TON of fun then he stopped and enjoyed. 

After the KOA then we got on down the road for Grandma Mary's house.  We stayed with Sam's mom for one week.  She just can't get enough of her grandkids.  Typical Grandma. :-)  While we were there then we did a couple of day trips.  We had such a fun time at Fort Donelson.  The kids loved all the great big cannons and Sam and I couldn't get enough of the eagles flying around.  It's an eagle preservation area right along the Tennessee River and it's amazing.  The troops that were there during the Civil War kept a bald eagle with them as a "pet".  It's part of the history of the Fort.  While were down on the river then we watched an eagle fly down above the river, catch a fish, fly right over the top of us, land in a tree, and eat it.  It was so incredible.

We were finally started on the last leg of our journey to Augusta, GA!  We were in two vehicles because Sam had left his car at his mom's house while we were packing and moving from CO.  I got to drive the car (which had a torn up left fender after a texting teenage girl took a left turn right into our car while in Paris) all by myself.  Sam claimed it was my "time alone".  I told him if he thinks that an 9 hour drive in the car without kids while following him and all the kids counts as my "time alone" then he's completely missing the jist of what this momma needs.  I need a VACATION!...alone....well maybe Sam can come...but that's it!
We had a little stop off to see Ruby Falls and Caverns (the largest indoor waterfall in the U.S.) before completing our drive. 

We are so blessed to have a "summer" house here in Augusta while we search diligently for someplace to live.  We have friends (he's deployed and she's from Atlanta) that have a house sitting empty.  They offered to let us stay and enjoy it.  It's in the most gorgeous neighborhood called Conifer Place.  It's the kind of neighborhood I think of when I think of an old Southern neighborhood.  There is some serious wealth floating around here!  These homes are amazing and just fun to walk through pulling the kids in the wagon and looking at all the beautiful homes and gardens.  Our friends rent a home in the "back" of the neighborhood.  But believe me these homes are wonderful too.  They are stacked right on top of each other but still have the most wonderful gardens and the neatest driveways and dividing walls.  It's very typical of a European neighborhood and feels very European with a little Southern flair.  The best part is the house has a pool! We are in summer house heaven!

So we are all settled in our new "home".  We did find a place to live and will hopefully be moving into that house by the 2nd week of July.  I went all over Augusta (actually Evans and Martinez because Augusta has a horrible school system) with a realtor looking at houses.  It was a really crazy and very stressful 10 days.  We even put an offer in on a house but it didn't work out.  In the end we found a house to rent in Evans, Georgia.  We just couldn't find the "perfect" house.  It was also hard to buy a house knowing 1) we already own a house 2) we are most likely moving in two years and 3) we didn't want to spend our savings putting in a new kitchen floor or updating bathrooms...again.  So we settled for the piece of mind in renting and the opportunity to enjoy our time as a family.  Sam will be home for the entire 2 years we are here! (check back with me later on whether or not I'm still enjoying that...lol)  It will be an adjustment for everyone.  I'm thinking it will be a good thing!  And I like good things.


Saying Good-bye

I was recently talking with my mom about some pictures that I couldn't find and she mentioned my blog.  Yes that thing I started to be "cool" like my friends a few years ago and now I haven't touched in over a year! Oh my.  I went searching through my blog posts and found just what I was looking for...imagine that.  BUT I found much more.  I found memories!

Now I'm here in the Lazy Boy thinking about all those memories and I'm a little sad and maybe even truthfully a little depressed.  I'm not prone to either of these emotions but they are coming on hard and strong tonight.  (might be that "special" time of the month too)

I'm starting to get really nostalgic about all kinds of things in Colorado Springs.  I'll drive by something and think..."I'm really going to miss seeing that" or "hearing that" or "smelling that".  I don't know if I'll ever forget the site of Cheyenne Mountain (or Snow White's castle as Molly calls it) at dusk when driving down South Academy on the way to house.  Or the beautiful site of the mountains from Lake Ave. and South Nevada.  Or the site of the plains all lit up in the night sky from high up on Thames Drive. 

The memories I've made here I will cherish for the rest of my lifetime.  I came to Colorado Springs a "broken" woman.  Our marriage was in complete shambles.  I was in complete shambles.  Shortly after arriving then my boys turned 4 and 2 years old!  The boys are now 10 and 8!!  I've had two absolutely adorable little girls in the time we've been in Colorado.  These girls will be 3 and 18 months when we leave.  I have a marriage that is strong and thriving.  Our family has been sealed for time and all eternity and we love one another.  It's amazing.

Thankfully, I get to take my family with me.  For this I am blessed! 


1st Annual Walker Family Easter Egg Hunt

The kids and I decided we wanted to host an Easter Egg Hunt in our yard this year. We have the perfect yard for hunting for eggs! It was so much fun and I just feel so much joy in being able to have everyone here to hunt for eggs and eat some yummy food.

Of course, in true Colorado spring fashion...it snowed on us! The saddest part about that is that there wasn't alot of talking and visiting after the event. That's the mommies favorite part.

We had 38 kids and almost 700 eggs! It was AWESOME!


Happy Birthday Molly

Molly March of 2009

Molly on March 13, 2010

Molly on March 13, 2011

Our fun loving little Molly turned two on Sunday! TWO! I really can't believe that it's been two years since she came into our family. It has been a wonderful two years!
Happy Birthday Pretty Girl!!


We Are A Blue Star Family

Don't know what that means? Well I'm about to tell you...

Did you wake up this morning with your husband sleeping next to you or in the bathroom shaving his face, did you eat breakfast with him or kiss him on the way out the door? At 5:30 or even 7:30 did you hear the garage door go up and think "ah, reinforcements"? Did he come in a give you a peck on your cheek or even a pat on your butt? Did you have your husband to help with dinner or cleaning up? What about bath time or bedtime? Did you have your husband there to tell your son that there was no choice he was going to karate? Did he fix the closet doors that your boys (or girls) pushed off when they were being wild? What about those kitchen outlets that are mysteriously not working? Or the oil in the car? Or shoveling the driveway and sidewalks in -10 degree weather? What about that nasty fall your son took that needed stitches? Did you have someone to pass off the baby to when they had their 5th poopy diaper that day and you just didn't feel like changing another one?
Ahhhhh...all the kids are in bed!! Did you have your husband there to sit down on the couch with and watch some silly "guy" show just because you wanted to spend a little quality time with him? Was he there when your child came out of their bedroom for the third time concerned that they just can't get to sleep? Was he there to hold the baby so you could clean up the kitchen, pack school lunches, and sign all their homework? When the baby finally drifted off to sleep, did he climb up in the bed with you, turn on his lamp and lay there and read with you? Did he sleep through the baby waking up for the second time that night? Was he there beside you the next morning to do it all over again?
What about the "special" occasions...Did you go out on a date this week? Did you celebrate a birthday? or even two or three in your household? or parent-teacher conferences? What about that 9 am church time on Sunday? Was he there to help you get all 4 kids ready and out the door on time? Was he there on the pew with you to keep them all "reverent"?

Maybe you can answer "no" to some of these questions. Maybe your husband worked late this week or is out of town on a business trip. Maybe he volunteers his time on Sunday to help his congregation and isn't there to help you with the kids. But "blue star" families do this day in and day out for months and months at a time.

We are a blue star family. What that means is that our family has someone serving their country overseas. We are less then 1% of the population. We are in a war that has lasted over 9 years. A war that people are forgetting still battles on.

For our family it continues to have a significant impact every single day. We are on our 6th deployment since 2002. On our 7th wedding anniversary we calculated that we'd spent more time apart then together (not by much though). On our 10th wedding anniversary we spent it apart because he left the day before for his 5th tour of duty. We've endured many marriage failures and successes. Many of those related to my husband's military service. Our life is on hold until "daddy" gets home. In many ways we are just surviving until the other half of the foundation of our home returns. Then we get back to the business of enjoying life, celebrating family, and conquering new adventures. All the while knowing that he will be leaving again.

My husband willingly serves his country. He is a man of honor and commitment. He does what is asked of him most often without complaint. I am asked to do the same. The blue star wife serves too. We don't have the uniform or the awards but I can promise you we serve our country too. The sacrifices asked of our family are tremendous. Every member of our family does what is asked of them often without question or inquiry.

There is something that is ALWAYS at the forefront of the blue star wife's mind and that is the "gold star" families. Did you know that as of Jan. 16, 2011 there are 5,860 gold star families? Check here. They are the families who have made the ultimate sacrifice and have lost a loved one during this war. A blue star wife is always praying she doesn't become a gold star wife. Do you think about this on a daily basis?

You may ask...what is the point of this blog post? The point is: take the time to remember those families who sacrifice so much for YOUR freedoms. Think of ways that you can help them (because I can promise you 95% of them will not ask for your help). There is a great website here set up to help the average American help members of their own communities. Mostly just take the time to think how you could help your neighbor, friend, or family member survive this difficult and trying time. Be aware of those around you. Feel free to share this link and spread the word as they say. I would love it if I could encourage even just 5 people to think about the military family differently.


The Girls

They grow and change so fast. Some days I can't get it to move fast enough but most days I just can't believe how fast time is flying. I'd post pictures of "the boys" but they are so over the camera! ha, ha


This job is NOT for the weak

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed these days. The job of motherhood is not for the weak in spirit. I was sooo blessed to have my mom here for 4 weeks to help me out but she left yesterday AND I have to say it's not nearly as fun.
Our little Grace is a night owl. She loves to perk right up around 9:30 or 10:00 pm. Right about the time I'm about to pass out from exhaustion. She's so cute but let's be honest how many babies are all that cute at 10:30 p.m.? Especially when you know your morning shift will be starting again at 6:30 am.
The boys are typical 9 and 7 year old boys. Not much help at all! LOL
Molly is a HANDFUL! Wow. I guess God felt that I needed a child that would push me on every single thing and then throw an ever loving fit every night getting into her p.j.s. Ah, Ugg. BUT that girl is about as cute as they come!
I've discovered the one thing I know about Sam being in Iraq is I don't like Sam being in Iraq!
That's all my griping for today! This too will change because if it didn't there would be a very high incidence of mommy abandonment!


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